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Sunday, July 10, 2016

EUDEC and the EUDEC Diploma

EUDEC is a non-profit organisation that promotes democratic education as a sensible educational model for all democratic states. Its members are individuals, schools and institutions throughout Europe with decades of experience in democratic education.

EUDEC pools this knowledge and shares it in the form of:
• a thriving, mutually supportive network of schools, universities, organisations and start-up groups.
• conferences, meetings and seminars.
• school partnerships and exchanges.
• opportunities to visit schools.
• online information about democratic education in theory and practice.
• publications.
One of the things that makes this organisation so unique is the active role played by school students at all levels: e.g. as individual members, on the EUDEC Council, in conference-planning, in the organisation of programmes etc.

The EUDEC Diploma
(as an important tool for students as well as for EUDEC as an organisation and Dem Ed in general) Lena Kraus

The EUDEC diploma: This is the workshop description from this year’s IDEC

 The EUDEC Diploma is great for alumni of Democratic Schools as a reference (e.g. when applying to jobs).
But: It can also become an important political tool for EUDEC as an organisation and Dem Ed in General.

At Democratic Schools, students are often presented with a hypocrisy that is poisonous to the atmosphere at the school, as well as to their own motivation and their lives: They are told that they can do whatever they want, and that they should follow their interests, while in most societies, having an officially recognized degree still is essential to (not only professional) success in life. Of course, students are aware of this, and the hypocrisy I’m talking about is that at the moment, democratic schools cannot really offer the freedom they promise to their students.

In the end, it seems to be a sensible choice to study the necessary parts of the national curriculum, take a test and obtain a degree/school leaving certificate. We deny our responsibility if we just blame the authorities for this. If we can achieve wider recognition of the EUDEC Diploma, through using it alongside more “traditional” certificates first and creating positive experiences for employers and higher education facilities, eventually, we will be able to overcome this hypocrisy. The diploma has to become sufficiently recognized to be used on its own, and the students will no longer feel the need to obtain other school leaving certificates in addition to it. As a political tool, it will help to spread the word and create a positive impression of DemEd. The more the recognition of the diploma grows, the more the recognition of EUDEC will grow, and vice versa.

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